Not-for-Profit “Meg’s Legacy of Hope” Launches With Mission of Funding Organizations that Provide Mental Health Services for Young Adults in Greater Chicagoland Area
First $25,000 Grant Awarded as Inaugural Grant Cycle Opens
Lake Zurich, Ill., – (Oct. 10, 2023) – Meg’s Legacy of Hope, a new 501(c)(3) organization, launched this month to provide funding to not-for-profits addressing and strengthening the mental health of youth and young adults in underserved communities throughout Chicago and the collar counties.
An all-volunteer organization, Meg’s Legacy was formed in June 2023 with a mission to strengthen the lives of at-risk teens and young adults without resources so they may navigate the path to adulthood via mental health programming and support. The group currently seeks not-for-profits that provide counseling and other programs to impact the mental health of youth and young adults 18 years and older, including those in the suicide awareness and prevention realm. Larry and Mary Jo Butz founded Meg’s Legacy in remembrance of their oldest daughter, Meg, who died suddenly at age 26.
“Everyone deserves resources to ensure the quality of their mental health, just like we exercise, eat right, or have checkups for our physical health, we need care for our mental health,” said co-founder Mary Jo Butz. “Research from the pandemic showed that this group was struggling, and the isolation and stress of the pandemic only added to their struggle.”
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), 4.8 million people in Illinois live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals, making treatment difficult, if not unattainable. NAMI’s 2021 survey of U.S. adolescents aged 15-17 years old reported that 3 million teens had serious thoughts of suicide. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found there was a 31 percent increase in emergency room visits related to mental health issues in 2021 over 2019.
“Access to mental health treatment can be attributed to lack of providers, financial resources, transportation or any number of other factors,” said Bob Noonan, Meg’s Legacy chairman. “We’ve had a strong launch and look forward to working with the local mental health professionals who can further address these problems and provide treatment and resources to this population.”
To kick off its inaugural funding cycle, Meg’s Legacy made its first $25,000 grant to “Partners in Our Communities”’ Skyward Bound Program. Meg’s Legacy has earmarked an additional $100,000 to fund grants for not-for-profits providing mental health resources to young adults. Information on the application process is available on the organization’s website. Submissions are accepted until Dec. 31, and grants will be awarded in early 2024.
“Organizations prioritizing mental health support for youth and young adults ages 18+ are the focus of Meg’s Legacy grants,” said co-founder Larry Butz. “Our preferred causes include support around mental health and suicide awareness, coaching and life skills, and we encourage those programs like these to apply,” added Butz.
About Meg’s Legacy of Hope
Meg’s Legacy of Hope is a 501(c) (3) based in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The nonprofit aims to support mental health services through funding initiatives for young teenagers and adults managing their mental health.
For more information, visit https://megslegacyofhope.org/